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Cocktail of the Week
One bottle of Red Wine (nothing tannic or woody)
1 cup of apple juice
2 oz. of Brandy (VS or VSOP quality level)
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 inch piece of peeled ginger root
6 allspice berries
3 inches of cinnamon stick
1 star anise
Zest of one orange ideally peeled with a vegetable peeler, no pith.
Mulled, spiced wine is one of the great and classic staples of the Christmas season. It’s a universal signal of the season being found anywhere that a December chill can be found. In Nordic countries they call it Glögg, in German-speaking nations it’s known as Glühwein, and in the English-speaking world it lives under the Mulled Wine moniker. Regardless of the name, the drink is remarkably the same being made by steeping spices and sometimes fruit in hot wine.
As always you want to use a good, but not great wine. If you wouldn’t drink a glass straight from the bottle, don’t use it. Also, it’s important that you choose a wine that is low in tannins and light on wood influence. Cabernet and Merlot would be bad choices while Pinot Noir and Beaujolais are better choices. Talk to your local wine merchant.
Combine all of the liquid ingredients in a saucepan with the honey and heat to a low simmer. Once the honey has fully dissolved add the spices and other ingredients continuing to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. At this point give the Mulled Wine a taste to determine if the level of spice and sweetness are to your liking. If you desire more spice check it again in 5 minutes and if you would like it to be sweeter simply add more honey. If perfect, strain the spice solids from the mixture and keep your homemade Mulled Wine warm and ready to serve.